Drier weather settling in for week ahead
DENVER – Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible through Monday, though widespread heavy rain isn’t expected.
During the past few days, heavy rainfall of 1 to 4 inches has fallen in the watch area, saturating the ground. Stronger storms could produce rainfall rates up to two inches per hour and additional rainfall will lead to runoff.
Recent wildfire burn areas are especially vulnerable to flash flooding.
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The heavy rain proved to be too much of a good thing Saturday afternoon, causing mudslides and road closures in several locations.
Both directions of Interstate 25 were closed for several hours near Dacono between mile-markers 232-235 because of standing water, and Left Hand Canyon west of Boulder, Highway 34 west of Loveland and I-70 near Rifle were closed due to mudslides.
Nearly two inches of rainfall within 30 minutes flooded portions of downtown, including the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, which closed early Saturday evening due to the weather.
“It was incredible. I couldn’t believe that it was going to rain that much or that quick. It only rained for 20 minutes but we had 6-8 inches of water in our booth,” said artist Aaron Lowe.
Festivalgoer Sharon Garinger agreed. “I’ve never seen it rain so hard in Colorado my whole life and we were out in it.”
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“I just stood there and watched everyone else run and scream and act like they were sugar and gonna melt,” said exhibitor Michael Hamlin-Smith.
Thunderstorms, and possibly another round of heavy rain, are back in the forecast for Sunday, but the festival organizers plan to weather the storm.
“You know it was a storm that came through but we sustained it fine. Everything’s okay, the festival had a plan and they put it into place and it went well,” said festival spokeswoman Stephanie Blake.
Flash Flood Warnings, Watches and Advisories were posted through the day, and continued into the early morning hours for northeastern Colorado.
City streets weren’t able to handle the sudden onslaught of heavy rain, creating a scary moment for one father at the intersection of 14th and Kearney in Denver. The man’s car stalled in the flooded intersection.
“Water started coming into the car, came up basically to my lap level. I was able to call 9-1-1 at that point, grab my two-year-old child who was in the back seat,” said Brandon Hodge. “It happened that fast, it was pretty quick. I couldn’t believe how fast it did occur.”
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